Osage County District Judge John Kane had the same concern about a list. “I think that the risk outweighs the benefit if you handcuff the process,” he said.
Kane also said, “There could be even a constitutional right to some limited privacy that you might run afoul of if you tell the court they can't seal something that needs to be sealed.”
Stiles noted during the hearing that a couple of judges had suggested in emails that all divorce records should be sealed from the public.
Mark Thomas, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Press Association, said at the hearing that open records help the public have faith and confidence in the judiciary.
“The ones that bother us are ... not necessarily the ones that are sealed up in the interest of justice. It's the one that's sealed up in the interest of the judge and sometimes the interest of the clerk,” Thomas said.
“If people are using the public courts, the public have some rights to know what those courts are being used for,” Thomas said.